No changes planned to far right visitor access, says Immigration NZ

12:02 pm on 20 March 2019

Immigration New Zealand says it has no plans to review whether far-right speakers are allowed into the country.

Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux.

Canadian far-right speakers Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern were allowed into New Zealand last year, but struggled to find a venue to speak at. Photo: Supplied.

The agency said visitors must not pose a risk to security or threaten the country's international reputation.

Controversy was sparked last year when two Canadian far-right speakers Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern were given visas to visit New Zealand.

Immigration New Zealand said it uses all available information, including from other agencies and partner countries, to decide whether someone meets entry requirements.

"Anyone travelling to New Zealand must be of good character, not pose a security risk, not be a risk to New Zealand's public order or the public interest and not threaten New Zealand's international reputation," an Immigration New Zealand spokesperson said.

Separately, the agency has confirmed Australian National Imams Council president Shady Alsuleiman was told he could not travel from Australia on Monday.

However, Mr Alsuleiman has since been allowed to enter New Zealand.

National border manager Stephanie Greathead said he was told he was unable to travel to New Zealand visa-free as a result of being excluded from Denmark.

"Because of the exclusion, he required what's known as a special direction enabling a visa to be granted," she said.

"Taking into account all the circumstances, Mr Alsuleiman has now been granted the special direction and a one month visitor visa."

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